Empowerment of organisations and people with disabilities AIFO

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					                              Università degli Studi di Padova
                           Centro Interdipartimentale di ricerca e
                         servizi sui diritti della persona e dei popoli


   Empowerment of organisations and people with disabilities

                 Padua, 27th March 2007
   University of Padua, Archivio Antico - Palazzo del Bo

          By Giuseppina Mascaro, DPI Italia ONLUS

           This seminar is part of the project “Mainstreaming of disability
           in the Cooperation towards development”, co-funded by the
           General Direction Employment and Social affairs of the
           European Commission. AIFO and DPI Italy ONLUS take full
           responsibility for the content of this document.

Opening word by the authorities

Fabrizio Ferrari, inter-department Centre on the rights of the person and people and in charge of the
problems of disability at the Political Science Department of the University of Padua

Gianna Benucci, in charge of the International Cooperation Office, Municipality of Padua.

Francesca Succu, Director of the regional Observatory for Handicap, Region Veneto

Diego Vecchiato, Director of the Office of International Relations, International Cooperation, Human Rights
and Equal Opportunities, Region of Veneto ,

Enrico Pupulin, member of CdA AIFO

Emilia Napolitano, Chairman of DPI Italy

The project “Mainstreaming of disability in the Cooperation towards development”, the first result of the survey
Simonetta Capobianco, mainstreaming project, AIFO

The international frame and the empowerment actions of the organisations of people with disabilities.
Giampiero Griffo, member of the World Counsel of DPI

Empowerment and Human Rights
Paola Degani, Professor of Human Rights and vulnerable groups, Political science department of the
University of Padua
The project EmpowerNet
Stefania Dondero, in charge of the EmpowerNet Agency
Peer counselling as an instrument of empowerment
Rita Barbuto, in charge of the European development Office, DPI-Europe

Best Practices:

Project Mongolia - Francesa Ortali, Project Manager, AIFO
“A Multi-Country Action-Learning Research Initiative” AIFO/OMS-
Sunil Deepak, in charge of scientific activities, AIFO
Project Morocco – Stefania Lauri, Project Manager, OVCI


“Mainstreaming”: “main current–social- political non sector participation”
“Peer Counselling”
AIFO : ”Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau”, ”Italian Association friends of Raoul Follereau”
DPI: “Disabled Peoples’ International”
FISH : “Federazione Italiana Superamento Handicap”, “Italian Federation to overcome Handicap
OVCI: “Organismo di Volontariato per la Cooperazione Internazionale – La Nostra Famiglia ”, “ Volunteer
Body for the International Cooperation - Our Family”
OMS : “Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità” “International Health Organisation “
ICF: “Classificazione Internazionale del Funzionamento, della Disabilità e della salute” “International
classification of functioning, of disability and Health”
PcD: (Persone con Disabilità) - People with disability (PwD)
DPO: (Organizzazioni di Persone con Disabilità) Organisations of people with disability
ONG: (Organizzazioni non Governative) NGO
FAD: Formazione a distanza - Long Distance learning
RBC: Riabilitazione su base comunitaria – Rehabilitation on a communitarian base

Fabrizio Ferrari, inter-department Centre on the rights of the person and people and in charge of the
problems of disability at the Department of Political Science of the University of Padua   .

The Human Rights Centre of the University of Padua is glad to be one of today’s guests and to host your
Conference in our auditoriums. This University pays a lot of attention to disability: for years it has followed a
policy that favours access to University studies. The merit goes to our organisation, made up of University
services, mostly offered by the Disability Office of the University, an organising body in every faculty – that
refers to the Disability Commission of the University, which promotes and runs all services for the disabled
students. In the last few years disabled students have attended courses and graduated with great

Gianna Benucci, in charge of the International Cooperation Office, Municipality of Padua.

The City of Padua has organised activities in this field in favour of the peace dialogue. In Padua we have
different and various associations that work in the field of International cooperation and of peace. The
International Cooperation should adapt itself to the pace of time and needs and for this reason it is subject to
a law revision– n°49 of 1987 – and today’s occasion is precious for the contribution of the participating
In order to favour the peace dialogue, the municipality, which main intervention activity is the decentralised
cooperation, has activated relationships of collaboration and cooperation with Local Authorities, Centres,
Associations and Universities but also international relationships- the area of the Balkans, Middle East,
Africa and Latin America as well as South East Asia have been involved.        What the activities inside the city
are concerned, I’d like to mention : the annual events – with the 15 of May as deadline- dedicated to the
national initiative of “CIVITAS” , which is an initiative of the third sector but involves both the public and the
private sector; the People’s Day; international bi-annual appointments of Perugina.
One needs to understand the mechanism of cooperation because it may lead us to work in a more profitable
way for the Rights of the Peoples and for the Rights of the individual.

Francesca Succu, regional Observatory of social policies, voluntary and no profit work– Region of Veneto

Our Region has always shown a commitment in the field of social policies and disability: The contacts it has
indicated to all the local communities have always put the individual central not only as an ethical base but
also as a situation in which the individual is entitled to have all rights, among which inclusion on all levels,
independent life, aiming to a reinforcement of the network with the promise to promote experiences,
knowledge and the intend of diffusing them and developing them

Diego Vecchiato, International Relations Office for the International Cooperation for/towards development,
Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, Region of Veneto

For about 20 years, the Region of Veneto, which plays an important role in maintaining the coordination of
social affairs on the same level as the other Italian regions, has had at it disposal a first law – n° 18 of 1988.
This law has been the reference point for regional legal instruments in the field of Human Rights. Later other
laws were added: the law n° 18 of 1992 – concerning international solidarity -, the law n°33 of 1998 – which
activated the participation of the Region of Veneto in a European Master on Human Rights and Democracy,
the Law n°55 of 1999 – the most important one because it united all the actions supported and proposed by
the Region regarding Human Rights, international or decentralised cooperation and international solidarity.
This law can be divided in three years’ programmes and annual plans that authorized the execution of more
than 90 actions of decentralised cooperation on the theme of disability, many of which support actions of
Local Authorities, Regional, National and International Institutions, for this reason most of these are an
experience of good practices on the theme we want to study in depth today.
When disability is involved very often actions are undertaken in situations of emergency, social, human and
environmental degradation. The future outlook of the international cooperation should thus include the
creation of a well-planned “fil rouge” based on the actions carried out in the Veneto Region, which should be
regarded as beneficial and valuable experiences.

Enrico Pupulin, Member of the CdA AIFO

Raoul Follereau was a French journalist who, going to Africa, came in contact with the social reclusion and
discrimination of leper victims. After this experience he started an international awareness raising campaign.
In Italy the journalist’s initiative was continued by a group of university students who founded an Association
in Bologna.
Follereau said that these “last ones” are people like all the others, they have equal dignity and rights and he
urged them to participate as active citizens. Moreover he claimed that before working in developing countries
we should first face the work that has to be done in our countries.
Following this double track, the AIFO dedicates part of its resources to change the mentality on development
in Italy and contemporarily empowers the cast-out persons. The association has broadened its horizon by
opening its activities towards all disabled people and thus towards all NGOs and foreign countries by funding
their projects. The AIFO is present in 13 Countries, in 4 Countries it collaborates with the central
government, this happens for example in Indonesia, Mongolia, Laos, Vietnam. In the field of disability the
AIFO has collaborated with the International Health Organisation and adopted the rehabilitation approach on
a communitarian base which means mainstreaming. Therefore, the people with disability should be taken in
consideration in all fields without undertaking anything special on any level at all, health, education,
employment, sport.
Follereau spoke about a society of love, today we are talking about an all inclusive society of solidarity.

Emilia Napolitano, chairman of DPI Italia

DPI is a social and cultural movement of people with disabilities in 135 countries all over the world. It is an
association organised in a federal way, in which 18 associations, that protect the rights of the people with
disabilities and their relatives, participate. DPI promotes and protects the human and civil rights of all people
with disabilities regardless the type of disability.
Among the many activities of DPI we should also mention those that regard Bioethics and Gender issues,
especially in these fields a lot has been done thanks to the Daphne projects.
In this context it seems appropriate to repeat that especially in the field of cooperation; our voice should be
listened to:”nothing about us, without us”. In fact, out movement believes that the people with disabilities are
the real experts of the many problems and difficulties they meet day by day inside the different societies.
Therefore we believe it is extremely important that they participate actively in all processes, all contexts and
solutions that regard their personal and social environment to guarantee them an independent and
interdependent life.
It cannot be denied that all people with disabilities in the whole world suffer continuous violations of their
human rights, which often lead to a negative self-perception of being inadequate and incapable due to their
disability. The first goal of empowerment is to transform this perception: only by being aware of the
discriminations one can start an emancipation process to obtain full participation. Emancipation can be
obtained thanks to peer counselling, a method imported from the USA which confronts the disabled person
with his psycho-social experience to obtain his emancipation and then, in turn, he can help other disabled

The project “Mainstreaming of disability in the Cooperation towards development”, the first result of the survey
Simonetta Capobianco, AIFO

The project, co-funded by the EU, wants to include the issue of disability in the policies for cooperation
towards development, encouraging activities based on mainstreaming and on social empowerment
addressed to people with disability. The first phase of the project was making a map, a survey, of the
national activities of cooperation towards development, carried out by the 12 European partners of the
promoter consortium. The survey regards the laws on the cooperation towards development, general and
sector policies, execution methods and the human resources used. The information, gathered by means of
questionnaires, can be ascribed to three main categories: the first: how does the interviewed person
perceive disability and the role of disability in the execution of cooperation projects. The second information
category is more specific and regards the work done by the organisation, the description of the projects, the
kind of funds used and the obtained results. Finally, the interviewed were asked to identify the sources and
resources used in the planning and in the collection of funds and information. The survey activity was only a
first result. The operative phase involved a great variety of organisations: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Local Authorities, NGOs, DPO, Universities, documentation and research centres and banks. The sample of
36 bodies out of 66, is composed of 1 Ministry, 19 NGOs, 8 Local Authorities, 2 Universities, 4 DPOs, 1
Bank and 2 documentation and research Centres. Synthesising the data that emerged in this first phase of
the survey, it turns out that: 17 NGOs, 1 DPO and 1 documentation and research Centre manage directly

the projects of cooperation towards development in favour of disabled people, whereas, 5 Local Bodies
finance these kind of projects. Of the NGOs and the Local Bodies that have projects on disability in the
cooperation towards development only 7 NGOs and 2 Local Authorities affirm to know the ICF. Regarding
the gender issues 12 NGOs and 2 Local Authorities know the phenomenon of the double discrimination of
disabled women and children.
Finally, as far as the concept of disability is concerned, from the interviews emerges that all organisations
agree that disability is a physical and/or mental condition that limits the normal daily activities, strongly
conditioned and dependent from external conditions.

The international frame and the empowerment actions of the organisations of people with disabilities
Giampiero Griffo, member of the World Counsel DPI

DPI is an international organisation, born in 1981; it is present in 135 countries all over the world. Its goal is
the promotion of the human rights of people with disabilities (PwD) by means of their full participation. Its
activities start from simple principles: disability is not a question of health or pathology but it is a condition of
discrimination deriving from how one is treated. DPI has brought up the issue that the condition of disability
is a condition of violation of the human rights. The 650 million of people with disability in the world are a
political fact, whose value is often ignored. Most of these people live in developing countries, and in these
countries the situation is particularly serious. In fact, facts show that only 2% receives services and support
both from the cooperation and from the government. In these countries disability is the cause and the effect
of poverty. Another element that has to be underlined is that disability is an ordinary condition belonging to
the whole human race and it has a significant cost both in terms of the violation of the individual’s human
rights, and in terms of costs that society often has to sustain in an improper way. Intervene in a proper way,
in poor countries means to invest the already limited resources appropriately. In the field of cooperation
towards development disability is nearly invisible or is approached according to the medical model not the
social one. In this field, the ICF represents a cultural reference frame for action and in recent years, also
thanks to this, there have been new approaches. The first is a conceptual one, since the initial medical
model the language, researches, interpretation of rights, and the prospective have been changed. In this
field the cooperation is a sector that DPI wants to reinforce to create alliances so that cooperation for
development organisations understand the theme and develop it in an appropriate way.
As you can deduce, the theme has an international quality. With the UNO Convention on the rights of the
PwD the paradigm of the human rights is applied to the PwD and has become an international law. It is a
convention of rights and participation, compulsory in the Partner States that will ratify it: they will recognise
that accessibility of projects and the inclusion of the PwD is essential for the good outcome of an initiative of
cooperation towards development. The principles that are present in the Convention are the same as those
that the Cooperation must respect: the respect of intrinsic dignity, independence, non-discrimination,
participation and inclusion in society, respect for the differences, acceptance of the PwD as human diversity,
equal opportunities, access, equality between men and women.

The States will be called to consider the international cooperation as one of the many instruments and the
involvement of the PwD will assure that the international cooperation will include all PwD and will be
accessible to all PwD.
For the interaction between the Convention and the cooperation towards development there are three
strategies. The first is called “double track approach”: the resources assigned to the PwD should increase
and at the same time a mainstreaming of disability inside all projects should be created. The second
approach strengthens the role of the organisations of PwD; the third adopts the most appropriate instruments
and technologies having cleared the goal of social inclusion and full citizenship.
Often the cooperation towards development is thought to be a humanitarian action, a vehicle of the rich
countries that help poorer countries, but this approach has to change. The cultural base should no longer be
a humanitarian action but the protection of the human rights. Human rights consider the citizens as the first
protagonists: thus the theme is empowerment, is the problem of how we can help those citizens and people
to respect themselves. For DPI the appropriate solution is inclusive development, where the social aspect is
the theme of development in itself. Thinking of development is thinking that everyone is part of it. The word
empowerment has two meanings: strengthening the ability and the wishes of the persons to achieve want
they want, giving and taking power, obtain a social role. The individual, social and political empowerment is
linked to the citizenship, to democracy, to the construction of alliances, to the social inclusion that helps the
application process of the rights and which is based on the full participation of the PwD in all fields of life.
Society should take on the responsibility of disability, not as a specific problem but as a global issue of life
and development. Inclusion is a process that has to be experienced inside the communities by means of
inclusive development that regards the direct participation of the excluded. It is impossible to think for the
others: “nothing about us without us”.

Empowerment and human rights
Paola Degani, Professor of Human Rights and vulnerable groups, Political Science Department of the
University of Padua

The process of empowerment is closely linked to a process of evolving expansion regarding the need to
identify words and practices that allow to contact, in a more          incisive way, the field of discrimination.
Empowerment supports and replaces a whole series of political and legal operative systems that have
accompanied the struggle against discrimination. .
The education actions focused on empowerment are first of all actions that aim towards the reinforcement of
the individual’s power to choose and this reinforcement doesn’t only have a therapeutic-repairing character
but it should also be interpreted as a political emancipating acceptation: this is the central upheaval point. In
the 70s the word empowerment takes off in the common political- social language and it was linked to the
theory of democracy in the modern sense of the word, it found a specific declension in the movements for
civil rights, feminist movements and in general in all those demands that regarded minority groups. A
fundamental feature of this word is its transversal character: empowerment denotes a constant and
progressive growth of the individual’s potential, accompanied by a growth in autonomy and assumption of his
own responsibilities. The category of empowerment requires the help of another word in order to be
complete, namely “mainstreaming”. Mainstreaming is an approach that allows all individuals that represent
the collective interests of, for example specific groups, to ask for social and political participation in different

procedure phases and decision making processes. Mainstreaming is a process through which one tries to
identify, in advance, the outcome a certain choice might have for certain individuals or different groups. The
idea of empowerment is inseparably hooked to sustainability: protagonism implies an approach that is based
on the element of sustainability. Currently, the world of cooperation is going through an identity crisis, a
problem of overlapping and mix-up with humanitarian action that often plugs, only occasionally, merely a
situation of necessity. The world of cooperation can not approach the actions undertaken in the developing
countries, ignoring the issue of opportunity creation, the transfer of actions that are able to leave a mark and
give empowerment to the persons. Such an approach is calibrated on the individual, on his human rights, it
starts from his needs and starting from his needs confers them power. The empowerment approach is
focused on the dimension of the individual in the sign of his human rights; it is focussed on development,
which necessarily has to be social. The same goes for political empowerment.
In 2005 the Supreme Commission of Human Rights for the Nations issued a report- document in which it
connected the problem of empowerment to human rights, identifying the critical empowerment areas of these
rights so that their full protection can be carried out. The identified critical areas are: poverty, the armed
conflict, impunity, the transfer of obligations that derive from the ratification of the International Conventions
by the States, the difficulty of the right to development. The right to development, identified as a “full right”
recalls the theme of the individual and collective responsibility necessarily sending the problem of how to
organise cooperation, what type of cooperation to create, back to the theme of culture and the justice of the
human rights.

The EmpowerNet project
Sfefania Dondero, in charge of the EmpowerNet Agency

FISH starts from the concept of inclusion of the networks, such as to be an occasion, a reinforcement and
participation method. The project is called EmpowerNet because the main action is impregnated with the
awareness of the leaders of the associations, with the increase of abilities and skills, with the promotion of
negotiation competence and co-project design skills.
It all started in 2004 from a picture of the reality of the federation’s 35 member associations. Almost all the
associations have educational actions but few have occasions where the action involves interactively other
associations and even less associations have started training initiatives focussed on principles and rights.
The projects, co-funded by the law 283 of 2000 were: “EmpowerNet 1” and “EmpowerNet 2”, “”,
“Network in movement” and “construction site for the non-discrimination” focussed on the Convention and on
the promotion of actions for the protection of the individual. The macro objectives of the federation were:
create a reinforcement of the network, promote the approach based on empowerment, train the association
leaders on the approach towards human rights, develop co-project design skills, carrying out and diffusing
good practices and experiences aimed to the social quality.
The training methods were varied and flexible. 12000 course hours, national, regional and local conferences
were diffused on the net. An important part of the project was given to the research on the assignment of and
on the difference between different regional systems regarding costs, etc. Another objective was to launch
“EmpowerNet Centres” where key functions as “net animators” were created and enhanced. These functions

will assure the local coordination, the institutional presence and will gather the themes and contents
requested by the territory. So, a provisional report shows that: the network has grown – on local and
regional scale- , new training demands, new spokesmen, new roles have emerged: Among this network of
centres and launched initiatives there is the “EmpowerNet” agency, a network instrument that promotes the
design of new projects based on empowerment, full citizenship and inclusion and promotes and creates
large-scale relationships and collaboration between establishments. The network and empowerment is
complex and circular: once one starts to work with empowerment one never finishes. Once this process is
set in motion one needs to be aware of the value of this instrument and of the skills it requires. One needs to
understand that empowerment is an instrument, an action field, an intervention method and at the same time
a form of democracy. The model promoted by FISH is a model of re-definition: from the pyramidal model of
associations to the horizontal one of empowerment. The network doesn’t exist because of a generically living
together. It exists thanks to concrete activities and the goal of each of these activities is to generate change.

Peer counselling as an instrument of empowerment
Rita Barbuto, in charge of the European Development Office, DPI-Europe

At this point the rights of the PwD have been clarified but unfortunately not all people are able to assert their
rights. An instrument needs to be found which allows the PwD to gain power, empowerment, so that they are
no longer focussed on the outside, on the claim of their rights, but on the inside, on themselves.
Empowerment is moulding one’s destiny in such a way as to achieve and realize one’s life entirely. By
starting the empowerment process it is possible that the PwD achieves this awareness and power. In this
field, DPI has tried out a new methodology: “peer counselling”. Peer counselling started in the 60s in the
USA. In those years disabled students were forced to endure discrimination and social exclusion. That was
why some of them, at the University of Berkeley, decided to meet regularly and to dedicate time to each
other to communicate their experiences, confront themselves and work out individual and group strategies
that enabled them to face the problems determined by their disability. Thus, Peer counselling became an
important instrument that favoured development and the strengthening of the ability of the single PwD to
start a process towards independent life. In the 80s the method arrived in Europe and was spread in Italy
where it was mostly exercised in Independent Living Centres. In 1998 DPI Italy promoted a pilot project
“Peer Counselling: a method to plan an autonomous life”, which lasted for two years and was financed by the
EU. With this project DPI wanted to broaden the competence field of those disabled people that work in
Centres of Information-Documentation on Handicap and at the Information counters of the associations. In
these contexts of close contact with the PwD emerged the necessity to promote services that match the
complexity of their autonomy needs.
The value and efficiency of Peer counselling have been widely recognised within the PwD Movement,
despite the fact that the professional profile of the peer counsellor has not yet been included in the official job
list. In 2000 there was an official recognition in Calabria, where the province of Catanzaro financed a second
level Peer counselling course and the University of Calabria and the Service for Disability started a Peer
counselling service for disabled students. Another important step was made in 2005, the year in which the
handbook on Peer Counselling: “from victims of history to protagonists of life”, was published thanks to EU

funds. Peer counselling is a particular form of counselling, born to favour the individual empowerment
process and consequently the process of social emancipation. It uses a specific method: it is not carried out
by professionals but by the PwD that have gone through their awareness process and have had the same
experiences. During the counselling no particular themes are discussed: what is discussed is not important
but how it is discussed, in this space dedicated to the consultant or consultants. So, Peer counselling is a
strategy inside the service system, a support for the social and cultural policies so that they include the
PwD’s right to live an autonomous and independent life with equal opportunities and the protection of their
human and civil rights.


Mongolia project
Francesca Ortali, Project Manager AIFO

For 15 years the Association AIFO has been present in Mongolia, a developing country that lived under
Soviet hegemony for 70 years. For this reason there have been and still are numerous difficulties linked to
the structure of society and the mentality of the population. From 1992 till ’97 AIFO supported didactic
activities for operators and district doctors that, moving around on horseback or by motorbike, follow the
Mongolian population, mostly nomads, exercising basic health care on the territory in a capillary way. In the
beginning of the 80s the “rehabilitation on a communitarian base” (RCB) was born. The philosophy of this
activity, inside the OMS, is that the individual’s rehabilitation goes hand in hand with the education of the
community as a whole.      The principle that moves the process is to help the awareness of the PwD, this
gives them a higher level of self esteem that leads to aggregation and gets them out of their isolation. The
activities of the RCB can be defined as: training of local committees, of personnel, collecting data,
concession of micro-credits and rotation credits, training for inclusive education. Not to forget the institution
of a fund for the creation of micro-projects to match the real needs of the PwD and their organisations.
Afterwards, AIFO presented, in collaboration with DPI, a project which was approved by “UNDESA” of the
UNO. This project wants to carry out various activities all relevant to the idea of empowerment. Its aims are:
to form a general vision of the UNO Convention, analyse the empowerment theme of the DPO and of the
individual’s identity, train operators for future courses. This project will finish in May 2007 and one its
activities includes the publication of a handbook for the training of DPO in developing countries. We
shouldn’t forget to mention that this project has brought to the surface a contradiction inside the United
Nations: they had funds to finance and favour the participation of the PwD of the poor countries in the
decision making processes but they didn’t have funds to implement the right on a national level. Today, with
the convention, the problem is on the agenda day by day and has become an awareness problem of the
whole international community.
So, talking about empowerment in poor or developing countries is still difficult because they haven’t got a
history of civil participation. Consequently, we need to offer instruments that can activate these processes.
The cooperation towards development is a precious opportunity.

“A Multi-Country Action-Learning Research initiative” AIFO/OMS
 Sunil Deepak, in charge of scientific activities AIFO

This project represents a work of research and actions in three Latin American countries, two African
countries, two countries in the Middle East, one in Asia and one in Europe, namely Italy. The idea of this
project is the meeting of PwD and the world of health services and how empowerment can be carried out in
this field. The organisation of the health services is based on the concept of “acute need”, where the
operator plays the role of the expert who has to solve the problem of the admission, fast caretaking and
release of the disabled patient, who plays a passive role in all this. In reality, the client/PwD - client not in the
economical sense but as a person who is entitled to have rights- has a life before and after his admission
and release, has a life style that has to be taken in consideration and evaluated by health care. So there can
be an exchange of roles: the client/patient becomes an expert and the operator a facilitator. The initiative
was started with the publication of a basic, theoretical document drafted thanks to the collaboration of some
universities and various DPO, one of which is DPI. The initiative started from open debates between DPI,
OMS and AIFO and involved different people with different types of disability: people with spine injuries,
mental illnesses, depressions, leper, polio patients, etc.
It was alleged that the object of the action was only in the field of health rehabilitation and thus those PwD
that don’t use health services frequently were excluded as target groups. The work set off with
homogeneous groups of DPO: they met regularly with a facilitator, who was a PwD, in order to obtain and
learn about health information – about cures and other information- necessary to receive general information
on human rights.      After this the same facilitator reported everything to a group of health operators,
highlighting the needs that emerged from the groups of PwD.
The stress was on “why” people turn to health services even when, besides health problems, there other
kinds of emergencies for example lack of personal assistance or precarious job situation.
The final result was the drafting of a strategic- political document of the OMS to propose to the governments
and the elaboration of indications for a different management of the health services.
There are many challenges to be faced because we continue to work in 4 continents, in different contexts
and cultures, the starting time was different and also the reasoning on the kind of training. Further, there are
the linguistic barriers, the enormous amount of data and the difficulty we had in involving the health

The Morocco Project
Stefania Lauri, Project Manager OVCI

The OVCI operative in Morocco with a project that was the aftermath of the re-organisation of an orphanage
which also admitted PwD that remained there for the rest of their lives. This made us reflect on the problem
of the abandonment of disabled children in Morocco, where no public health services exist.
We started a project that aimed to the prevention of infant abandonment, to the development of a
sustainable health care system and to the promotion of the socio-educative integration of disabled children.
We needed to speak a lingo that was near to their way of living: sharing pleasure, i.e. meeting not only to
discuss problems but also to share moments of happiness, always in full respect of their traditions. We

worked on three levels: the first was a formal one, of the Morocco League for the protection of Childhood;
then there was the intermediate one, regarding the technical- project design training of the local team and
the last one of the beneficiaries, i.e. children between the ages of 0 to 14 years. Thus we achieved the
constitution of an association of parents, legally recognised, with which we can interact in the future for new
projects and micro-credits. .
Today, we would like to the present the project by means of audio-visual support to tell the story of a boy,
Brahim, and of how his life and the life of his family have changed since the activation of the project. The
activities of the project are described through the eyes of this boy.

Giuseppina Mascato

For more information, please contact:

Simonetta Capobianco
Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau
Ufficio di Roma
Via Ostiense 60/D - 00154, Roma
uff: +39 065745699: cell: +39 3490849117

or visit the website: